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Banff residents identified as victims in deadly Hwy 93 crash
Published Thursday, August 9, 2018 1:02PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 9, 2018 6:39PM MDT
Four friends on a day trip to Jasper were among those who were killed in a fiery crash on the Icefields Parkway Tuesday night.
Friends have identified the victims as Ganesh Anala, Pavan Kathiat, Anand Singh Panwar and Gelek Wangmo, who are all residents of Banff.
All four worked in the hospitality industry in Banff and went to Jasper on their day off.
“It’s been so difficult. I couldn’t believe he’s no longer with us, “said Atul Pundir, who has known Panwar for 15 years.
He said Panwar came to Alberta as a temporary foreign worker from Kuwait six years ago. Panwar worked as a chef at an Indian restaurant in Banff but his family is back home.
"He's the only caretake of the family," Punduir explained.
Panwar has a young son and a pregnant wife who’s expecting their second child in the coming days.
He's described as a kind, outgoing man who knew many of the other Indian chefs in Edmonton and Calgary.
Anand Panwar with his pregnant wife and son.
Their family and friends have set up an online fundraising campaign to help support their families.
The collision happened on Highway 93 at Honeymoon Lake, about 55 km south of Jasper, around 5 p.m. Tuesday.
At least one helicopter was sent to bucket water on the vehicles that had burst into flames.
Police said the men’s vehicle was involved in a head-on collision with a van carrying five Americans.
The two other deceased are Angela Elkins of Louisana and her son-in-law, Nick Copeland of Texas.
Elkins’ husband, Curtis, and daughter Sarah were taken to Edmonton hospitals in serious condition.
The Copelands’ two-year-old son was not injured.
Nick Copeland (top left) and Angela Elkins (bottom right) died in the crash.
The cause of the deadly collision is under investigation.
With files from Dan Grummett